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Phillies Spring Training: Looking Ahead to 2016 Season

Sydney K. '19, Writer

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It’s that time of year again when the umpire yells, “play ball!” With Major League Baseball Spring Training in full swing, it won’t be long before the teams start playing some ball for real. The Philadelphia Phillies are actually showing some promise in 2016 after a dismal 2015 season where they only won 63 games and finished with the worst record in baseball. There are a lot of up-and-coming young players on the roster that will bring some excitement. Gone are the familiar faces like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels. Instead, new names like Roman Quinn, Peter Bourjos and several others dominate the roster. Phillies manager, Pete Mackanin, stated, “I’m the manager of the team and I want to stay positive.” He added, “I think we’re going to do a lot better than what people think we are. If we can get our starters into the fifth and sixth inning on a consistent basis, then automatically we’re going to be an improved team.” There really is no other way but up for the Phillies especially after finishing in last place last year.

The 2015 season was a complete disaster, and expectations for the 2016 aren’t high. Pete Mackanin replaced Ryne Sandberg as manager last season, after Sandberg suddenly resigned, and was eventually named the permanent manager.

It’s difficult to believe that eight years have already passed since the Phillies won the World Series back in 2008. After winning five consecutive NL East titles, the Phillies fell to .500 in 2012 and then 73-89 the following two seasons. They now are in a full rebuild mode ever since things bottomed out at 63-99 last season. That was their worst record as a franchise since 1972.  The Phillies have looked pretty good so far this preseason. They have some good pitching, powerful hitters, and are playing with a lot of energy. “I know they’re Spring Training games,” Phillies general manager, Matt Klentak, said Tuesday morning at Bright House Field, “but I’ve been very encouraged by the way Pete [Mackanin] has guys playing. The energy, the effort and the outcomes. We’ve won a lot of games this spring, and that’s been a really positive thing for us.”

Obviously, a good record in spring training doesn’t mean the Phillies will have a good record during the regular season. But, the anticipation for the upcoming season sure has a lot of fans excited. The Phillies home opener is on Monday April, 11. If they can get off to fast start, who knows, maybe they can do better than expected and bring the fans back to the ballpark.  

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